Some ask the world
and are diminished
in the receiving
of it. You gave me
only this small pool
that the more I drink
from, the more overflows
me with sourceless light.
R. S. Thomas, Experimenting with an Amen (Macmillan 1986).
Bertram Priestman (1868-1951)
"The Sun-Veiled Hills of Wharfedale" (1917)
Thousands of buds at the tips of twigs, yet each in its own singularity: delicate and full of intent. "Tightly-folded bud." A flower of leaf. Mostly shades of green, though often streaked, speckled, or swirled with browns or yellows or reds. Suspended beneath the sky, precarious. But lucent, potent with life. And, from all around, the singing of robins.
The Bright Field
I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
the treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
R. S. Thomas, Laboratories of the Spirit (Macmillan 1975).
Francis Armstrong (1849-1920), "Cader Idris, Snowdonia" (1918)